Representing Victims of Over-serving Alcohol in Miami
In Florida, the law states, as found in Section 768.125 of Florida Code, that a person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person whose actions cause injury or damage to another shall not be held liable for the damage unless:
- The person served was not of legal drinking age (i.e. under age 21); or
- The person served is habitually addicted to alcohol; and
- The serving of the alcohol was willing, unlawful, and done with knowledge of the above.
Dram Shop Laws Vary by State
A recent lawsuit filed against a drunk driver who killed a man in Michigan has brought to light the question of when a tavern or bar can be held liable for injuries caused by the patrons they serve. To be sure, the surviving family members of the man who died as a result of the alcohol-related crash have filed the lawsuit not just against the drunk driver, but also against the tavern that served him, as reported by WoodTV.com. Here’s a look at what you need to know regarding dram shop laws – the laws that hold establishments liable for over-serving alcohol–in Florida if you are hit by a drunk driver.
The reason that the surviving family members in the Michigan case discussed above have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against the alcohol-serving establishment is this: the state of Michigan allows for bars, taverns, and restaurants to be held liable when alcohol is served to an intoxicated person or minor, and that results in the injury or death of another party. But each state has autonomy in establishing their own dram shop laws. Florida’s laws are stipulated above.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Bar that Over-Served the Person Who Caused My Injuries?
Drunk driving is a terrible thing, and there is no doubt that a party responsible for the act of drunk driving should be held liable for the damages that they cause. As such, those injured by a drunk driver in Miami can not only press criminal charges against the driver, but civil charges as well.
But whether or not an injured party can hold anyone else liable–including whoever over-served the alcohol to begin with–is a bit more complicated. If the drunk driver was served at a bar or restaurant, the above criteria must be satisfied in order to hold that establishment liable. Further, Florida has no social host liability, which means that if the drunk driver was served alcohol at the house of a friend or private citizen, this party cannot be held civilly liable for over-serving the driver.
How Our Experienced Miami Accident Attorneys Can Help
We know that when you or a loved one is injured by the actions of a drunk driver in Miami, you want to pursue every avenue possible for recovering compensation for your loved ones. At the offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein LLP, our attorneys are here to help you do exactly that. While we cannot guarantee the ability to hold an establishment liable for over-serving, we will investigate the cause of drunkenness and all potentially liable parties.
If you are hit by a drunk driver, do not wait to get legal help and take action. Our experienced Miami drunk driving accident attorneys are here to represent you, and ready to get started today. For your free case consultation, contact us online or by phone at your earliest convenience.
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